EEOC Discrimination Filings Down from Previous Years

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today released detailed breakdowns for the 76,418 charges of workplace discrimination the agency received in fiscal year 2018 (down from 84,254 in FY 2017). The comprehensive enforcement and litigation statistics for FY 2018, which ended Sept. 30, 2018, are posted on the agency’s website, which also includes detailed breakdown of charges by state.

eeoc-report-could-be-delayedThe EEOC resolved 90,558 charges of discrimination.  Overall, the EEOC secured $505 million for victims in private sector, state and local government, and federal workplaces. The agency reduced the charge workload by 19.5 percent to 49,607. It achieved this through deploying new strategies to more efficiently prioritize charges with merit, more quickly resolve investigations, and improve the agency’s digital systems. The agency handled over 519,000 calls to its toll-free number, 34,600 emails and more than 200,000 inquiries in field offices, reflecting the significant public demand for the EEOC’s services.

“The EEOC had a remarkable year working on behalf of those who came to the agency having experienced discrimination in their workplaces,” said EEOC Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic.

“Our fiscal year 2018 final statistics reflect significant  recoveries for individuals through our administrative enforcement and our litigation program.  The statistics also indicate the EEOC has been handling its workload in a more efficient manner, expanding tools to provide better timelier service to the public while sharpening our focus on meritorious charges and those that advance the public interest. The statistics reflect the agency’s successes in taking advantage of new strategies to bring about the lowest inventory of private sector charges in a dozen years. Further, we cannot look back on last year without noting the significant impact of the #MeToo movement in the number of sexual harassment and retaliation charges filed with the agency. Last year was an incredibly important and productive year for the agency and my thanks go out to all of the staff who rose to the occasion,” added Lipnic.

The FY 2018 data show that retaliation continued to be the most frequently filed charge filed with the agency, followed by sex, disability and race. The agency also received 7,609 sexual harassment charges — a 13.6 percent increase from FY 2017 — and obtained $56.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of sexual harassment. Specifically, the charge numbers show the following breakdowns by bases alleged, in descending order:

  • Retaliation: 39,469 (51.6 percent of all charges filed)
  • Sex: 24,655 (32.3 percent)
  • Disability: 24,605 (32.2 percent)
  • Race: 24,600 (32.2 percent)
  • Age: 16,911 (22.1 percent)
  • National Origin: 7,106 (9.3 percent)
  • Color: 3,166 (4.1 percent)
  • Religion: 2,859 (3.7 percent)
  • Equal Pay Act: 1,066 (1.4 percent)
  • Genetic Information: 220 (.3 percent)

These percentages add up to more than 100 because some charges allege multiple bases.

EEOC legal staff filed 199 merits lawsuits alleging discrimination in fiscal year 2018. The lawsuits filed by the EEOC included 117 individual suits and 45 suits involving multiple victims or discrimin­atory policies and 37 systemic discrimination cases. At the end of the fiscal year, the EEOC had 302 cases on its active docket. The EEOC achieved a successful outcome in 95.7 percent of all district court resolutions.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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